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The Giants are taking their World Series trophy to New York

Jan 14, 2011, 6:10 AM EDT

1954 Giants

To most of us, 1957 may as well be ancient history. The Giants don’t view it that way, however, and they’re doing a solid for whatever Giants fans are still left in New York from back when they skipped town: they’re taking the World Series trophy there and will put it on display in a couple of places:

“Toward the top of our list, after winning, was doing something for our fans in New York,” Baer said. “We’ve got a tremendous number of people who talk about their childhood days following the Giants, and now their dream has been fulfilled with the San Francisco Giants winning.”

One of the places: Finnerty’s in the East Village which “calls itself the largest San Francisco Giants bar in New York.”  I’m guessing that if it’s patronized by old New York Giants fans, the signature drinks are things like sidecars and gimlets and whatever people drank back during the Eisenhower administration.

I keed!  I like this move. And not just because there are some old timers who will appreciate it. I like it because it reminds us that it’s pretty darn easy to be a fan of an out-of-town team these days. I like the idea of there being a Giants bar in New York. I’m sure the phenomenon is limited to huge cities like New York and Chicago, but I’d like to at least entertain the fantasy that I could go into any city and find a bar that features a team I’m wanting to see. There’s something so comforting about that.

  1. heiniemanush - Jan 14, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    That’s a nice gesture by the Giants. I didn’t know Finnerty’s was a “San Francisco” bar. Each time I’ve walked by there I see a lot customers wearing Red Sox hats, but that’s New York for you. Good luck trying to find someone admitting to being a Met fan around here.

    • danstixny - Jan 14, 2011 at 7:42 PM

      I’ve been there twice (Yankees fan) but I know next door is a Red Sox bar. Their website certainly shows a lot of Giants fans. http://www.finnertysnyc.com

  2. writtenbyross - Jan 14, 2011 at 7:06 AM

    Very classy, and a great marketing move as well. A team (or any business) can never build too much goodwill. Also kind of sticks it to the no-country-wide-appeal critics a little.

    • florida76 - Jan 14, 2011 at 10:32 AM

      It’s a nice gesture for the few senior citizen Giants fans in New York who actually still remember those players from the 1950s, but it does have limited value at the end of the day. Both San Fran and Atlanta have exactly one world title apiece, and I don’t recall the Braves doing anything with Milwaukee back in 1996. The country wide appeal fails in the case of the Giants, because it’s been so long.

      We have to understand franchises and cities are inevitably tied to the history accomplished in the host city. Fact is, old New York Giants fans will never have a connection with the 2010 San Fran Giants for this very reason. Younger San Fran Giants fans have never heard of Monte Irvin. It’s the price of sports franchises leaving town. Likewise, Warren Spahn just isn’t relevant to the fans of the Atlanta Braves because he didn’t pitch there. Conversely, the 1957 world champs from Milwaukee never played a game in Atlanta.

      The Atlanta Braves have a museum where they honor the old Boston/Milwaukee Braves, and that’s fine. But new cities of franchises will never be able to piggyback the memories and accomplishments from the prior cities. It’s the reality of the situation, like it or not.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 14, 2011 at 11:12 AM

        Younger San Fran Giants fans have never heard of Monte Irvin.

        You mean the Monte irvin who threw the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1? Why yes, yes we have.

        The Giants do a great job, all year round, of offering opportunities for fans to connect with their history, both in New York and in San Francisco. Lots of folks around here appreciate it.

      • natedawg321 - Jan 14, 2011 at 11:42 AM

        Actually, the Giants do a very good job of connecting with the past. They retired Irvin’s number in June during this last season. So good job on providing the example that was the wrongest.

      • bigdicktater - Jan 14, 2011 at 7:27 PM

        You’re mistaken. I’m in SC and root for the “Gints” because they were my father’s team.
        Even though they moved 2800 miles away he lived and died with them over the years. Read the boxscores every day and regularly castigated the managers. Gave me hell when I lived in Atlanta and rooted for the Braves. We would go to see a couple of their games every year when they were on the Right coast.

  3. lampdwellr - Jan 14, 2011 at 7:14 AM

    Not totally limited to huge towns; here in Raleigh the nearest bar is a Steelers bar and there’s a 49ers group in town too. I know that’s football, but still.

  4. yankeesfanlen - Jan 14, 2011 at 8:12 AM

    There’s an Irish pub dive in Myrtle Beach that has great fish and chips and doubles, unbeknownst to almost everyone, as a Yankees bar. Only problem is it’s marketed more like an under-age joint, so the cops are hiding on the sidestreet at closing time picking off the teenagers. I got carded at a Chili’s down there a few years back when I was……..over 21.

    • bigdicktater - Jan 14, 2011 at 7:18 PM

      There’s another Irish pub in Surfside that’s a big Bosox bar.

  5. Jonny 5 - Jan 14, 2011 at 8:50 AM

    I’ll take a wild guess and say there will never be an out of town team bar in Philly. Not for longer than a week anyway.

  6. juanpablogonzalez45 - Jan 14, 2011 at 9:10 AM

    Actually, Jonny, the Fox & Hound in Center City Philadelphia is the place to be to watch the Steelers. There are actually quite a few other Steelers bars in the Philly area.

    I guess enough Eagles fans got frustrated at not only losing the big game, but barely even getting there…

  7. florida76 - Jan 14, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    nayedawg321,

    You completely misunderstood my post, what the organization does to honor the past is different than what occurs in the host city. Bottom line, the fans in San Francisco cannot have the connection with the old stars and achievements of the New York Giants. The only exception would be the few fans who moved from the old city to the new one. You’ll have a tough time finding fans in San Fran who have knowledge about Monte Irvin, it’s just the way it is.

    I’m not criticizing the Giants at all, it’s just the reality of franchise shifts. Personally, I’m happy San Fran finally won their first world championship, it’s good for baseball to see different teams in the fall classic.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 14, 2011 at 10:48 PM

      Bottom line, the fans in San Francisco cannot have the connection with the old stars and achievements of the New York Giants.

      Couldn’t be more wrong.

      You’ll have a tough time finding fans in San Fran who have knowledge about Monte Irvin, it’s just the way it is.

      Hi, I’m a fan near San Francisco who has knowledge of Monte Irvin. How many more of us do you need to hear from before you relent?

    • natedawg321 - Jan 15, 2011 at 1:31 AM

      So, I’m guessing you completely can’t read at all, as I pointed out to you that the Giants had a ceremony during the past season where they retired Monte Irvin’s number before a game in San Francisco, not one against the Mets.

      So, unless you are claiming that no Giants fans attended the game, read the newspaper, or watch on TV, your statement (which you chose as your shining example of a disconnect due to the move) that no SF Giants fan knows who Irvin is, is utterly and completely, wrong.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 15, 2011 at 10:55 AM

      I replied florida’s first posting here with links to a story about Monte Irvin throwing out the ceremonial first pitch for Game 1 of the World Series and to a picture of that part of the evening in the San Francisco Chronicle. For whatever reason, that comment doesn’t appear for anyone else — only for me when I’m logged in. Weird.

      The comment also included a link to an interview with Irvin that appeared in the New York Daily News, which mentions the Giants’ organizational effort to stay connected with the stars and achievements of the past. Irvin pointed out that the ceremonial first pitch for Game 2 was thrown out by the daughters of Bobby Thompson, saying that that was “the kind of thing you see from a special organization.”

      The point is: the connection that florida says can’t exist does exist.

      The Giants last played in New York more than 53 years ago now. Saying that Giants fans here on the west coast cannot have a connection with those players and those teams is like saying that Yankees fans in New York cannot have a connection to the Yankees’ teams and stars of the 20’s and 30’s — with exceptions today’s fans weren’t there, and the New York of today is not the New York of those times. Yankees fans should respond with the Yankee equivalent of “balderdash”, and Giants fans should respond with theirs.

      • florida76 - Jan 18, 2011 at 4:46 PM

        jkcalhoun,

        I never stated 100% of San Francisco fans have no connection with New York, obviously people relocate, but my point is still valid. Aside from the tiny percentage of people with that type of connection, what happened in New York stays in NY, and what happens in San Fran stays in SF.

        Your example of Yankees fans is wrong, because the tales of those old Yankees teams are passed down from generation to generation at a much higher rate than outside New York. It’s difficult to believe how anyone could possibly misunderstand this concept.

        Like it or not, the San Fran Giants have one world title, or one less than the Florida Marlins. And there’s absolutely nothing you or I or anyone else can change that reality. Sports franchises aren’t like McDonald’s, their history is inevitably tied to the city they represent.

      • jkcalhoun - Jan 20, 2011 at 9:05 AM

        the tales of those old Yankees teams are passed down from generation to generation at a much higher rate than outside New York

        The Monte Irvin Principle

        Abstract. That stories of the past are passed down over time sufficiently for new generations to learn them only in New York and never across time and space is one of the great mysteries of geographical psychology. This phenomenon, known as the Monte Irvin principle, is, strangely enough, virtually unknown outside of New York, where no one has heard of Monte Irvin. Nevertheless it applies universally. Fact: you never even heard of Monte Irvin until just now, am I right? And don’t even get me started on Bobby Thompson.

        This is science, people.

  8. florida76 - Jan 20, 2011 at 10:29 AM

    jkcalhoun,

    Never suggested no one outside of New York ever heard of Monte Irvin, but having a franchise over generations means stories about those older players are indeed passed down over time. But it’s completely different for people in San Francisco, where the Giants have resided for 50 years now. The connection can never be the same, a 30 year Phillies fan who missed seeing Mike Schmidt in Philadelphia has the advantage of living in that city with a father who can relate those stories. By contrast, in San Fran, you only have a tiny number of senior citizens who were transplants from New York. Their grandsons now have very little interest in those NY days, it’s just the way it is.

    I’m surprised anyone could think otherwise, we’re talking about maybe 1% of people in San Francisco who really have vivid memories of those ancient days in NY. Sports franchises aren’t like McDonald’s, they all have a unique connection to those communities.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 20, 2011 at 4:11 PM

      you only have a tiny number of senior citizens who were transplants from New York

      You assume that only by personal association with an older fan, probably in the city the franchise operated in, can younger people make connections to the past of a sports franchise. No doubt it always helps to know someone who was there when something interesting happened, as a direct recounting of a compelling story straight out of memory is of course itself a memorable event. But the pushback you’re getting from me and other posters here is all about whether other avenues for making strong connections to the past are available.

      And there are. People read. Younger generations of Dodgers fans, for example, have Roger Khan and Doris Kearns Goodwin as well as others and can gain through their writing a knowledge and appreciation of those older times in a place they may have never seen. Don’t tell me it’s not impossible to celebrate the lives and careers of Robinson, Snider, Campanella, Reese, Furillo, Hodges and others unless “you were there” — the last I checked, The Boys of Summer has sold more than 3 million copies, and not all in Brooklyn, either. Something’s striking a chord with somebody, no?

      Of course it’s a minority of today’s fans who read such authors; my points is only that such authors are readily available and connections to the past can be made through them.

      Giants fans, since we’re talking mostly about them, also have a group of excellent authors they can turn to, including Charles Einstein and recently joined by James S. Hirsch with his biography of Mays published just last year. That book does a great job of bridging Mays’ New York years and his San Francisco years, so if Giants fans felt no connection to the New York Giants before, they’d be able to get started on making one by reading that book. (And, I have to add, there are 50 separate index entries in that book alone for Monte Irvin.)

      Of course reading isn’t the only way to make connections. People also go to the ballpark and watch television, and if the franchise highlights its past with pre-game events and in-game video presentations as the Giants often do, people can also make connections with the past in that way.

      So, I can accept that your opinion on this matter can’t be swayed. Just be aware: knowledgeable and passionate people, all over the country, fans of nearly any franchise, will disagree with you. Maybe the problem is that your franchise has hardly any baseball past to commemorate?

      Shall we talk instead about whether it’s possible for any of us to feel a connection with the people who fought the Civil War, even if we don’t live in Antietam or Gettysburg or anywhere else a great battle was fought? Because that’s nonsense too. People are people; they tend to relate well to other people, as long as information can be passed from one to another by any means available and there are no prejudices to interfere.

  9. florida76 - Jan 22, 2011 at 1:15 PM

    Yes, it’s possible for fans of the overall Giants to learn about the overall history of that franchise other than from older generations. No doubt you have people in Portugal who can learn from books and other media about the overall Giants franchise. And yes, with the information available today anyone can learn about anything. Willie Mays isn’t part of this discussion, since he played numerous years in San Francisco. Bill Mazeroski and Bobby Thomson launched historic home runs, but Maz was far better known in Pittsburgh even before his HOF induction. Why, especially when Maz wasn’t a factor in the early 70s? Even in the 60s, Clemente and Stargell were the major offensive forces for those teams.

    The connection is real, and can never be the same if your team has relocated. No truly, objective, knowledgeable baseball person could possibly disagree with that statement. I’m right, the pushback I’m getting is from people who think I’m criticizing the San Francisco Giants, and that’s not what I’m doing, just stating the obvious. There’s a clear reason why sports franchises have the name of the city before the name, it’s done to represent the city. Fans of these current Giants simply can’t have the same connection to their current world champs as the ’54 Giants. When a team leaves a city, it’s like a divorce, that’s exactly why these events are so emotional.

    All of the peripheral stuff the San Francisco Giants may do to honor the New York Giants will be greeted with interest, and polite applause, in the stadium, but that’s it. When I talk about the fans from a city(or the nearby area), that includes fans of all ages and knowledge levels. Any poll or test would reflect the obvious, fans with franchises entrenched over time would significantly score better those fans from a transplanted franchise. Tigers fans in the Detroit area have a far greater recall of Hank Greenburg and Ty Cobb versus Giants fans in San Fran of Monte Irvin and Christy Mattewson. Why? Because the Detroit area has the incredible advantage of having that franchise in the same area all this time. Meanwhile, it’s been more than half a century since the Giants played in SF.

    Guess what, the LA Dodgers are in the same boat as the Giants! While more of those 1950s Dodgers are better known than the 1950s Giants, the disconnection still exists.
    I’m positive you’ll find those copies of the Boys of Summer have been sold to mostly senior citizens, and people from the New York area. Younger LA Dodger fans are far more likely to recall players they saw in the 60s playing in LA as opposed to the late 50s in Brooklyn. This is so blatantly obvious to even the most casual observer, and again, I’m not criticizing the LA Dodgers. They’ve been far more successful in LA than Brooklyn, with five world titles opposed to one.

    Another perfect example of this is the Washington Nationals. It’s a very recent move, but the Montreal era for that franchise is over. While many Nats fans know of Andre Dawson and Gary Carter, you’ll see a major decline in people recalling the date of the lone Expos division title. Other good Expos players like Ellis Valentine or Steve Rogers will have low recall. Good luck on finding a younger Nats fans who could really care about who Rusty Staub was. Younger Reds fans have a far greater connection to Tony Perez, chances are far greater, their parents saw him play.

    Wrapping up, the Civil War isn’t relevant to this discussion because it involved the whole country, and individual battles aren’t sports events. Countless people have a connection to that war in some respect or another. In terms of a larger relevant illustration, the 1980 USA Hockey team is appropriate. While some people in Spain may have been excited by the victory, it simply isn’t the same connection as the people living here. And that doesn’t change if those fans in Spain eventually migrated here in ’81, ’91, or ’10.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 23, 2011 at 12:52 PM

      You said:

      Fact is, old New York Giants fans will never have a connection with the 2010 San Fran Giants for this very reason. Younger San Fran Giants fans have never heard of Monte Irvin.

      and

      Bottom line, the fans in San Francisco cannot have the connection with the old stars and achievements of the New York Giants.

      denying that connection either way was even possible. Now you say of fans within a teams’ city that “the connection is real,” by which you apparently mean to distinguish between the relationship fans within a city have with their team and that of fans elsewhere, at a greater distance, with that team. So perhaps you should amend your statements about also to include the word “real”, i.e. “old New York Giants fans will never have a real connection….” No?

      In any case, it’s not clear to me what you mean by “real”, other than that there will be a greater concentration of fans nearby, e,g, in Pittsburgh fans who will remember Maz, etc. Well, of course. But how does that make the connection of remote fans less “real”? Sure, there’s no out-of-town team bar in Philly, but we’ve been over that ground already. Do you have to go to a bar with other fans of the same team to establish a “real” connection? If not, what do you think? Please explain.

      Whatever you meant by that, you should keep in mind the MLBAM is raking in revenues by providing products that allow fans to follow their teams remotely via the Internet. So please cover the reasons those connections aren’t “real” as well, not just the bookish ones I mentioned for new fans catching up with teams of the past, whether remote or local.

      To sum up, events at the recent World Series (which notably included Irvin), the testimony of several posters here, as well as the reception the Giants have received when they took their championship trophy back to New York (which have all transpired just this weekend and have been well covered by the media), have all shown that such connections exist. And no, we are not arguing solely about what you’ve said about the Giants — the Giants are merely the example, because they happen to be the team most visibly renewing those connections at the moment.

      Now, Washington is an interesting case, and I’m glad you brought it up. I think everyone involved has an interest not to drawn too much attention to the past of that franchise, as I’m sure MLB doesn’t want too many folks in our nation’s capital thinking too hard about the way MLB hand picks the ownership of its franchises. Also, whatever value that franchise might derive from pointing to the past, the Nationals probably want to point to the past within their city, even as the previous one passed itself off as the inheritor of the legacy of the original Senators, and not to the past of their franchise.

      Moreover, I readily admit that not every franchise that has relocated has an interest in cultivating connections to its past. The A’s are another that has no interest at all. And you don’t hear too much about St. Louis from the Orioles. I don’t know about the Twins — is Walter Johnson ever mentioned in Minnesota? — or the Braves. However, these are not counterexamples to my argument: connections there may not exist because there’s just no interest. That doesn’t make such connections impossible.

      Finally, of course the Civil War is relevant. I chose it precisely because its era is the same as that of the beginnings of professional baseball, and the movements of population within the country since that time, as well as the expansion of the country itself, make it entirely relevant to your thesis that You Had To Stand With Them On The Sacred Ground in order to feel a connection to any part of an event or a cause. I regret that you were unable to follow the analogy.

    • jkcalhoun - Jan 23, 2011 at 7:27 PM

      Now, if WordPress will let me post this link — go here, read, and then we can be done.

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